40 ARJUN CATAPULT SYSTEMS FOR INDIAN ARMY
Starved of artillery for nearly three decades, the Indian Army’s howitzer jinx is all set for an irony that no foreign vendor may have anticipated -- the first artillery pieces to enter service after decades of drought, are to be Indian designed and Indian built. The Indian Army has been approved to procure 40 Arjun Catapult tracked self-propelled artillery systems, sporting the proven Arjun tank chassis and an M-46 130mm field gun turret. The gun has a maximum indirect firing range of 27.4 km and direct fire on targets upto 1.4 km. Ammunition on the gun is a high explosive shell with variable fuze settings. Two prototypes of the gun have been demonstrated to the Army at the Mahajan Field Firing Range. While the Army requires far more capable systems with 155mm/52 calibre gun barrels, it has decided to induct the Arjun Catapult as a robust system that is, in effect, a under-gunned version of the earlier proposed Bhim, that would have sported a 155mm Denel gun turret. The Arjun Catapult sports STANAG Level II protection and an integrated fire detection and suppression system.